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Trinidad & Tobago: 'Schools are dealing with...anxiety,...depression and ...behavioural problems'

Dec 30, 2017, Trinidad and Tobago Newsday: The Calm Effect http://newsday.co.tt/2017/12/30/the-calm-effect/ The CALM project (Children and Adolescents Living with Mental health issues), located at the St Joseph Health Centre, was launched on December 16 and is already booked up to the end of January. The Ministry of Health describes CALM as “a teen-focused mental health clinic specifically targeting patients 12 to 19 years old, who are at risk, already engaged in, or are exposed to behaviours that makes them vulnerable for undesirable social, behavioural, educational or mental health outcomes.” … Since children spend most of their time at school, CALM planned school interventions and peer education programmes as a way to promote awareness and fight the stigma of mental health. Pilgrim said she learned there was a high occurrence of self-mutilation at “prestige” schools, especially girl schools as they could not cope with the pressure and unrealistic expectations of their parents. “I got a call from a school in Central asking for an intervention, and when I spoke to the principal he told me Form One students were cutting themselves, and they were doing it in front of their peers.” CALM now had four schools lined up for interventions in January. … She said teachers and school counsellors would also be trained so they could oversee the process. “The teachers now are understanding that there is a need... The schools are dealing with lot of anxiety, a lot of depression , and a lot of the behavioural problems.”…